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T cell

noun, Immunology.
any of several closely related lymphocytes, developed in the thymus, that circulate in the blood and lymph and orchestrate the immune system's response to infected or malignant cells, either by lymphokine secretions or by direct contact: helper T cells recognize foreign antigen on the surfaces of other cells, then they stimulate B cells to produce antibody and signal killer T cells to destroy the antigen-displaying cells; subsequently suppressor T cells return the immune system to normal by inactivating the B cells and killer T cells.
Also called T lymphocyte.
Origin of T cell
1965-70; T(hymus-derived)

T lymphocyte

noun, Immunology.
1. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for t-lymphocyte


a type of lymphocyte that matures in the thymus gland and has an important role in the immune response. There are several subclasses: killer T-cells are responsible for killing cells that are infected by a virus; helper T-cells induce other cells (B-lymphocytes) to produce antibodies Also called T-cell
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for t-lymphocyte

t cell

1970; so called because they are derived from the thymus.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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t-lymphocyte in Medicine

T cell n.
A principal type of white blood cell that completes maturation in the thymus and that has various roles in the immune system, including the identification of specific foreign antigens in the body and the activation and deactivation of other immune cells. Also called T lymphocyte.

T lymphocyte n.
See T cell.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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t-lymphocyte in Science
T lymphocyte also T-lymphocyte  
See T cell.
T cell  
Any of the lymphocytes that develop in the thymus gland and that act in the immune system by binding antigens to receptors on the surface of their cells in what is called the cell-mediated immune response. T cells are also involved in the regulation of the function of B cells. Also called T lymphocyte. See more at cell-mediated immune response, Compare B cell.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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